English title: Income Aspirations, Television and Happiness: Evidence from the World Values Survey

Author(s): Luigino Bruni - Luca Stanca -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2006


This paper investigates the role of television in producing higher material aspirations, by enhancing both adaptation and positional effects. Using a large sample of individuals from the World Values Survey, we find that the effect of income on both life and financial satisfaction is significantly smaller for heavy television viewers than for occasional viewers. This finding is robust to a number of specification checks and alternative interpretations. The results suggest an additional explanation for the income-happiness paradox: the pervasive and increasing role of television viewing in contemporary society, by raising material aspirations, contributes to offset the effect of higher income on individual happiness.

Volume: 59

Issue: 2

From page no: 209

To page no: 225

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1111/J.1467-6435.2006.00325.X

Journal: Kyklos

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